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19: The Inequality of Climate Change

Breakout / Working Group
english language

Global efforts to set the world on a climate change resilient development pathway require an understanding of the relationships between climate change and development. Which groups are most vulnerable to climate change; what is their adaptive capacity and resilience, and what are the impacts of climate change on societal inequality? Is there evidence of a causal chain between climate change and poverty? What is the role of macroeconomics versus microeconomics in assessing vulnerability to climate change? How can ‘adaptive capacity’ actions help the development of a local community?


Deputy Head of Research, Oxfam GB, Oxford Abstract
A climate of inequality: consumption emissions and income distributions.

Inequality and climate change are inextricably linked; if unchecked the two together will halt and reverse decades of progress in the fight against poverty. This presentation considers the inequalities in the causes and consequences of climate change, driven primarily by the “haves”, and most severely impacting the “have nots”. Considering the causes we look beyond the inequality between countries’ emissions, and show that rather than a story primarily about rich verses poor countries, climate change is first and foremost about rich and poor people. Looking at the inequity of individuals’ incomes and emissions, we show that there are “haves” driving climate change everywhere. Yet while an increasing number of the global rich live in “developing” countries, the majority still reside in the traditional OECD “developed” countries that should not hide their emissions responsibilities behind the recent growth in some “emerging economies”. Considering the inequalities of climate risk, we look at how the burden is distributed unequally, not just for current generations but for future generations too.
Scientific Officer, JRC - Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Ispra Abstract
Economic consequences of extreme weather events and the role of social inequalities.
Author(s): Frank Neher and Apollonia Miola, JRC Ispra, July 2015
It is wildly agreed that climate change (CC) results in rising mean temperatures and increased weather variability. The frequency of extreme weather events is thus expected to rise. The choice of appropriate adaptive measures will depend on the CC-risk a country faces, with risk being the overlap between hazard, exposure and vulnerability.
It is generally assumed that vulnerability is among other factors determined by the distribution of rights and resources. Specifically, gender rights and income inequalities are seen to affect a country’s adaptive capacity. We empirically analyze the differential impacts of extreme weather events in the presence of social inequalities, testing the hypotheses that more equal distributions of incomes and more universal gender rights both help moderate disaster impacts on human and economic development.
For the thirty years up to 2010 we find that a more equal distribution of incomes reduces the human (child mortality) and economic impacts (reduction in gross capital formation) from droughts and floods. Similarly, countries with more universal gender rights have on average lower human and economic costs induced by extreme weather events.
It is up to future research to identify the exact mechanism underlying this relation. The authors belief that equality facilitates cooperation and thus helps overcome collective action problems inherent in most adaptive actions, fostering a countries ability to cope.
Research Scholar, Energy Program, IIASA - International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg Abstract
Inequality and Climate Mitigation: From Global to Sub-National. Mr N. Rao Research Scholar, IIASA - International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg
Climate mitigation policies can have adverse distributional impacts, but these depend on how growth contributes to greenhouse gases and how climate policies interact with existing institutions and policies. What stands between poverty eradication and greenhouse gas emissions is the nature of developing countries’ development pathways, income distribution, patterns of energy use, technological development, and different scenarios of global cooperation on climate change mitigation. This presentation will describe some of the interactions of these drivers. New approaches to quantifying human development and energy use shows that there have been many low-carbon development pathways in the past, but developing countries’ policies aren’t always encouraging sustainable consumption.
While basic development aspirations cannot be thwarted, their impact on climate change is by no means outside the realm of influence by both national and international policy. Using the example of clean cooking and electrification policies, I show how domestic institutions/policies have a strong influence on the distributional impacts of climate policies. These institutions mediate between global policies and sub-national household impacts. One example features the MESSAGE-Access model, a household fuel choice model that is part of the MESSAGE integrated assessment model at IIASA. The regional focus of this paper is South Asia. I will show how higher energy prices can set back progress in the uptake of clean cooking fuels, and how existing policy support can avoid or worsen these impacts. With electricity access, I show how the pricing structure can be used to protect the poor from climate mitigation costs, while also generating co-benefits for the system as a whole.
Associate Expert, Migration, Environment and Climate Change, IOM - International Organization for Migration, Geneva Abstract
Migration and Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities - Ms M.Traore, Associate Expert - Migration, Environment and Climate Change, IOM - International Organization for Migration, Geneva

The question of human mobility in a changing climate it increasingly debated among climate change stakeholders on the one hand and migration actors on the other. According to the latest IPCC report, climate change is expected to increase the forced displacement of populations throughout this century. Agains this backdrop, research is conducted to better understand the linkages between climate and the movement of people, in order to harness the potential of migration as an positive and successful adaptation strategy to climate change. Talking about migration as an adaptation strategy means putting human beings at the centre of the climate debate. People are already moving out of areas that are becoming too cold, too hot, too wet or too dry due to climate change. Supporting safe migration channels to help these affected individuals and communities cope in a changing climate offers an innovative solution that can have positive impacts on the wellbeing of people whilst reducing pressure on too stretched environments. In this "Year of Climate 2015", there is scope for policy action to consider the question of migration as adaptation within the UNFCCC process. In particular, National Adaptation Plans (NAP) provide an ideal entry point to integrate migration and adaptation matters in national policy development.
Project Leader, Economics of Climate Change and Development, Climate Risk Management Unit, JRC - Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Ispra Chair

Richard KING

Deputy Head of Research, Oxfam GB, Oxford

2003-2004 Project Development Officer, Integrated Rural Development Foundation, Manila
2007-2011 Researcher, Oxfam GB, Oxford
2011-2015 Policy Research Adviser, Oxfam GB, Oxford
since 2015 Deputy Head of Research, Oxfam GB, Oxford

Dr. Frank NEHER

Scientific Officer, JRC - Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Ispra

1998-2000 Economics & Social Science, Universität Hohenheim
2000-2004 Economics & Sociology, Universität Konstanz
2002-2003 Economics & Sociology, Universdad de Cantabria
2004-2011 Researcher Public Economics, Freie Universität Berlin
2006-2007 Visiting Fellow, Yale University, New Haven
2012-2015 Lecturer Public Economics, Freie Universität Berlin

Dr. Narasimha RAO

Research Scholar, Energy Program, IIASA - International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg

1993-1996 MS, Technology Policy, MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
1996-1998 Consultant, Arthur D. Little, Cambridge, MA
1998-2002 Senior Associate, Tabors Caramanis & Associates, Cambridge, MA
2002-2006 Visiting Faculty, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore
2006-2011 Ph.D. in Environment and Resources
since 2011 Research Scholar, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg


Associate Expert, Migration, Environment and Climate Change, IOM - International Organization for Migration, Geneva

2009-2010 Project Manager - Emergency and Social Housing, Habitat. Etudes. Recherches Consulting Group, Paris
2011-2012 Project Assistant, GFMD - Global Forum on Migration and Development, International Organization for Migration, Geneva
2012-2013 Programme Co-ordinator and Project Development Officer, International Organization for Migration, Bamako
since 2013 Associate Expert, Migration, Environment and Climate Change, International Organization for Migration, Geneva

Apollonia MIOLA

Project Leader, Economics of Climate Change and Development, Climate Risk Management Unit, JRC - Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Ispra

1998-2005 Consultant, Lombardy Region Directorate Environment, Milano
2000-2005 Senior Researcher Fellow, IEFE - Luigi Bocconi University, Milano
2001-2005 Economist, Catholic University "Sacro Cuore" CRASL, Brescia
since 2005 Project Leader-Economics of Climate Change and Development, Climate Risk Management Unit, JRC-Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Ispra

Political Symposium

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18:00 - 19:30The Grand Bargain of Humanitarian Assistance: How to Mobilise More Aid and Make It More Effective?Partner


11:00 - 12:00Genocide: Terminology, Dimension, PreventionPartner
14:00 - 16:00OpeningPlenary
16:30 - 18:00Muddling Through or Starting Anew?Plenary
18:30 - 20:00Maintaining Peace and Security in Times of Growing InstabilityPlenary
19:30 - 21:00Focusing on Security PolicyPartner
20:00 - 22:00ReceptionSocial
22:00 - 23:30Young Talents - Los ColoradosCulture


08:00 - 09:00Breakfast ClubBreakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 01: Success! The Do's and Don'ts of Changemaking in EuropeBreakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 02: Wartime Journalism: The Case of UkraineBreakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 03: Losing Out: Paths to Radicalism?Breakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 04: Austria in the EU: 20 Years of Experiences and ExpectationsBreakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 05: Eradication of Energy Poverty: A Key to Reducing InequalityBreakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 06: New Paradigms for European SecurityBreakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 07: Does the EU Drive (In-)Equality?Breakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 08: Inequality of Outcome and Inequality of Opportunity: Two Incompatible Sides of the Same Coin?Breakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 09: Interoperability in Humanitarian Operations: From Coexistence to CooperationBreakout
09:30 - 12:00Breakout Session 10: Young Refugees in Europe: Missed Opportunities - Future Chances?Breakout
12:00 - 13:30Lunch ReceptionSocial
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 11: Inclusiveness: The Key to Sustained ProsperityBreakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 12: Authoritarianism on the Rise: A New Global Competitor for DemocracyBreakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 13: The Unequal State: How Inequality Blocks Society's Creativity and How to Achieve Radical ChangeBreakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 14: Integrating People | Knowledge | Potential: Recognition of Migrant's SkillsBreakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 15: The EU Member States: Giants, Dwarfs and Those in Between?Breakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 16: Towards More Union in European DefenceBreakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 17: How to Make TTIP Inclusive for All? Towards a Fair World Trade OrderBreakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 18: Sustainable Development Goals: Why Should Europe Care?Breakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 19: The Inequality of Climate ChangeBreakout
13:30 - 16:00Breakout Session 20: Games Politicians Should PlayBreakout
17:00 - 18:30Dead-End Europe? Asylum and Refugee Policy in FocusPlenary
19:00 - 20:30The EU and Russia: Rivals, Opponents, Partners?Plenary
21:00 - 22:30CANCELED - Late Night Talk: Islam, "Islamic State" and ViolencePlenary


09:00 - 09:30InDignityPlenary
09:30 - 10:15Existential RisksPlenary
10:45 - 12:15Sustainable Development Goals: From Aspirations to RealityPlenary
12:15 - 12:30Concluding RemarksPlenary